RH Jones: Factors Impacting Pension Solvency
From RH Jones, August 1, 2009
Subject: “Factors Impacting Pension Solvency”
As a Life Member of ORTA I am agitated that the “leadership” seems to have sided with those who would like to think that we retired educators are a drain on our STRS pension system. To justify what I have just stated, the ORTA web-side espouses this: “Factors Impacting Pension Solvency . Throughout the years, there have been ad hoc improvements to already granted retiree benefits.” Note: Then there is a list the factors by date and amount.
To me, this “Factors Impacting Pension Solvency” list demonstrates that our STRS and legislators have tried to keep retirees up with inflation. These ad hocs are not improvements. They were thoughtfully created to try to maintain retired teacher purchasing power. Honorable educators and legislators did not create the STRS to cannibalize its retired members. It was created to insure that, when retired, educators could maintain their income and thus: retiree solvency.
Of course any check that is written to a retiree has an impact on pension solvency. The STRS is a pension system created to be the source of payment to its retired professionals for their faithful service throughout their careers. And, therefore, we do impact the system. However, the ORC 3307.15 is solely for its members. Solvency, by not factoring inflation for retirees is not going to solve the pension systems problems. It is the honorable responsibility of the STRS board and employees to grow the funding. Cutting us is neither honorable nor justifiable, and maybe even illegal.
Note: It is not the intention to tear down my ORTA but rather to try to shift its direction toward being successfully positive in constructively representing the retired teacher’s position. The ORTA slanting of statements toward the cutting of our benefits does not sit well with this member.
RHJones, retired teacher STRS member